All the world needs a smile and a little laughter

Today is April 19th and it is the day that I celebrate two women who remind me in a simple and sweet way that the way to live requires a smile from your heart and laughter on your lips.

There are two people that have come through my life and while neither have ever met, I sometimes think of them as similar. Perhaps it is because they were born under the same sign and somehow the universe has aligned them. But I think it is possible that it is because they remind me in the most beautiful way that there is always room for a smile and always time for laughter.

These two people are my mother and my friend Lisa. My mother would have been 82 today and I am not at liberty to say how old Lisa will be. But I am at liberty to say that these two people—each in their own distinct way—brought smiles and laughter to this world.

My mother was a theatre dame from her early years on. She had an affinity for the stage but she was not overly dramatic, rather she was sincerely committed to living life to the fullest. Even when she became ill, she never—never—stopped smiling. That is a gift she left me, to remember her not as a victim of a terrible disease but as a woman who never relinquished her ability to turn her lips upward and smile upon humanity.

My friend Lisa has a similar gift. She lives with her eyes wide open—seeing the realities of what surrounds us: the suffering, the tragedies, the sadness—but she is also able to live life with joy, happiness, and compassion. She knows life requires laughter.

When Lisa and I first became friends it was her laugh that struck me most acutely. Not because it is loud and obnoxious. No, Lisa has the rare gift to laugh with abandon. She gets it when it comes to laughing. She delights in friends, she is just the audience you want when you tell an outlandish story, she is the one you want when life is difficult and you need to lighten up.

I will honor these two birthday ladies by remembering the special gift they each have given this world of mine and one that I can only hope to always hold onto…today I will smile and laugh


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